Hey everybody, remember me? :)
I've just launched a Kickstarter for a brand-new family-friendly RPG called Rodent Rangers!
Rodent Rangers is a game in which players take on the role of heroic mice (or other small critters) living in a society which exists in secret right under the noses of oblivious humans. Think The Rescuers, The Great Mouse Detective, An American Tail, and so forth.
It's a lightweight system with an emphasis on cooperation and all that 80s cartoon mousey goodness that many of us have fond memories of.
To help make this project a reality, and even get an early playtest version and be thanked in the credits, check out the Kickstarter HERE.
Don't forget to spread the word as well!
Currently I see 5e as the Disney version of d&d, it's designed to be accessible for all ages, like g-pg rated film. Pathfinder is the pg13-r rated category, it uses more advanced ideas to be more engaging/interesting to an older audience. Each fills a different niche, and that is great. I hope pf2e remains a more advanced game. We don't need two versions of d&d made for kids.
There you go again. Pathfinder is more complicated to use than 5E (and it is absolutely okay to prefer that!) but that does not make it more "advanced".
An old wall-mounted crank phone is more complicated to make a call on than my smartphone, but my smartphone is the more advanced of the two.
Sometimes, simplicity of use is a direct result of "advanced" design.
I hope they make this new edition intelligent, not simple.
There's no direct correlation between intelligence and complexity in game design. For example, last I checked, the interface in Dwarf Fortress was simultaneously complex and stupid.
Sometimes a complex design choice is stupid, sometimes it's intelligent. Sometimes a simple design choice is stupid, sometimes it's intelligent.
The best part is: that's okay! The people who are enjoying simpler games than you do aren't a threat to you, so you don't need to manufacture a way to feel superior to them. You can just announce your preferences as preferences and your opinion will still be valid.
Own your desires! Declare them proudly! You can just say "I want a complex game" and that's great! You don't have to make it about your superior intelligence in order for it to be okay that you like complex games!
Relax, breathe, be liberated. :)
So from my point of view I keep hearing that Pathfinder needs to be streamlined to allow for ease of teaching new people to play but lets explore that idea. Is Pathfinder to hard for people to learn how to play? I can prove that its not.
I doubt it, but I'll give you a fair shake. Let's proceed.
In september I started a new group after not having a Real life group for several years. I took the role of the GM and I admit I have years worth of experience under my belt with 2nd edition D&D, 3.0, 3.5, Exalted 2E, World of darkness 2E (mostly werewolf, mage and changeling splats), Shadowrun 3rd edition, and even some Rifts games.
Here's our first problem: it's wrong to assume that all (or even most) new players are going to be introduced to the game via hand-holding from a GM with your incredible level of experience. You can't assume that's the norm. Especially nowadays, as nerdiness gets more and more publicly acceptable, people are livestreaming RPG sessions on popular YouTube channels and newbies are trying out the hobby based on seeing those games or being told by their newbie friends who saw those videos.
HearthStone players who follow Geek & Sundry are seeing Critical Role and deciding to try D&D, video gamers who love the Game Grumps are seeing Dragons in Places and deciding to give it a go, and so on. The playerbase is not just expanding through friends of existing GMs, but through groups of friends who have only heard about TTRPGs secondhand.
How easy is it for THOSE people to learn Pathfinder? Because if your legendary experience is what's necessary to make it go smoothly, then that only proves that Pathfinder IS hard to learn. If Pathfinder were easy to learn, you could have told the same story even if you'd never touched an RPG before.
Okay, how long did this take? Did you devote an entire session to it?
How much decision-making did the players themselves actually engage in? Did they give you a vague idea of a concept that sounded cool and you just rattled off what they should write down on their sheet? Did you point to the list of Combat Feats and tell the fighter "Here, pick one of these for your bonus feat" and let him decide? Something in between?
Since this is your attempt to "prove" that Pathfinder is not hard to learn, what did they actually learn in this process?
That said, if I can take 2 players with no experience and turn them into competant players then why cant anyone else?
By what metric did you determine that they were "competent players"? Did they actually learn how to go through their whole turn themselves without help or correction? Or did you have to keep telling them which dice to roll and what actions were being used up? What is a "competent player"?
Even if your assessment of competence is legitimate, how much of that 3 months had passed by the time they reached that point? Can you demonstrate that the length of time it took for them to reach competence was short enough to support, rather than refute, your assertions about Pathfinder's ease of learning?
IMO Pathfinder teaches perfectly well as its written and I have proven that we dont need a new edition for that reason.
You have done no such thing.
So far, all you've established is that two newbies who join the game of an immensely experienced GM can receive an unspecified amount of hand-holding and thereby achieve an undefined level of competence over the course of a three-month period.
There's not enough information there to prove ANYTHING, and what little data you did provide leans more toward disproving your assertion than proving it.
Fill in the gaps and we can talk.
There's a really great video about the relationship between complexity and depth and how depth is the goal and the addition of complexity is the sort of like the currency with which you purchase that depth. Part of good game design is figuring out how to get a "good deal" by getting a lot of depth for only a little complexity, and trimming out any elements of complexity that don't produce enough depth to be worth the "price".
Check it out HERE.
Here's a fun tidbit for your (rather clever, to be honest) stress-test: There's a tabletop RPG that I've run/played with three different groups, whose characters included the following:Flying animal-whisperer
Pretty crazy, right? And they were all viable, contributing party members right out of the gate at 1st level.
But the thing is, this game was simpler than Pathfinder by an order of magnitude. Teaching these newbies a system they'd never seen, letting them build their own characters, and then also playing the full intro adventure took about 3 hours for each group.
Three hours to learn, build, and play.
How many of those characters can you even build AT ALL in Pathfinder 1E, making them viable and on-concept at 1st level? This game has PF beat in flexibility, yet also leaves PF in the dust on simplicity.
I'm sorry, but your understanding of simplicity as being on the opposite end of a spectrum from flexibility is simply wrong. Not all complexity produces the same proportion of depth. Part of good game design is finding ways to get the most depth for the least complexity. Will PF2 do well in that regard? That remains to be seen.
But simpler does NOT automatically mean less flexible.
Only if you first play and test.
The Sideromancer wrote:
Credit where credit's due: Kobold Cleaver was the one who did the cataloging work. I've spoken on the subject quite a bit, and wrote a long post trying to help get people past some of the "sticking points" that typically prevented productive discussions about it, but I didn't catalog anything.
But anyway, yes, that's the subject I'm talking about. Pretty much every time the subject came up, there would be people insisting that it didn't exist, and/or was a self-created problem as a result of players being terrible people who don't understand the point of the game and everything would be fine if they just learned the meaning of "team" and so on and so forth.
And yet here we are, with that disparity being explicitly listed as a problem that 2E tries to address. Reminiscing about certain old forum posts just keeps me smiling and laughing. :)
Do you like one-page RPGs? Do you like goofy nonsense? Do you like murdering bunnies in their warren? If your answer to any of those was yes, then check out Best Served Cold, my first publication under my new company, Purple Aether Games LLC.
It's Pay What You Want, so you can check it out for free if you like. All you need is the rules, a bunch of d6's, and some folks you can laugh with. Enjoy!
I have now published my first title under the Purple Aether Games name: Best Served Cold!
Sure is. :) If any of your friends are ST nerds who also play D&D, share that link with them (or just point them to the DM's Guild, as mine is the only product there called a Zoomer).
Oh, and even if everybody takes it for free (which is fine), please do so individually rather than by sharing with each other, so that I have more "sales" on my record. Don't forget reviews, as well!
Outside warlock (which is a special caster), no there is not and there is a lot of interest in Gishes. Something like an arcane Paladin is very highly desired from what I've read.
I might have to take a crack at it, then.
I wonder if I can find the old thread where I first pondered such a thing...
I like it a lot. The only thing I wish it had was a fast mount/dismount.
Do you do a lot of mid-combat mounting? I figured if you're using this type of character with a mount, you're probably pre-mounted as much as possible and not likely to get off (except as a reaction in an emergency), so I didn't feel like that would be a very worthwhile ability.
I remember chatting about this a bit when the PHB first came out, and wanted to follow up on it now that some supplements and DM's Guild material has had a chance to accumulate.
5E has full casters (wizard, cleric, etc), half-casters (ranger, paladin), 1/3 casters (eldritch knight, arcane trickster), and non-casters (non-EK fighters, non-AT rogues, etc).
Here's the thing:
Now, I believe Nefreet is already working on a divine 1/3 caster, so that's taken care of.
But what about an arcane half-caster? Has anybody made that yet? And if not, would there be an audience for it if I made one? Should that be my next project?
Want a character that focuses on mobility and speed, beyond just taking that single feat? Want a character who can Sneak Attack Cthulhu with a boat? Want to attend Session 0 and say "Well, I could be the Zoomer" and actually do it instead of just leaving it as a pop-culture reference?
All that and more is now possible, and even better, it's Pay What You Want!
Click HERE to check out the Zoomer, free of charge. If you like it, you can always go back and re-purchase it for a non-zero amount, but you don't have to.
Also, if you want to keep seeing more content from me, pop in and tell me what you'd like to see, and maybe consider supporting my work HERE.
Don't forget to rate/review the Zoomer after you take it for a spin! Thanks!
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'll ask him, thanks!
And if you start a Patreon, lemme know, and I'll definitely share your link with what small number of followers I have. :)
Unfortunately Jiggy, I can't see anything of it because it's locked behind a Patrons-only restriction. So I can't give you any feedback, sorry!
You could keep sharing the link with all your friends until one of them becomes a patron and then have them tell you about it. ;)
Or you could wait until I put it up, since it'll likely be "Pay What You Want".
But the basic idea, since some of the essentials are already present in the core rogue features, is to add a bit of mobility/vehicle focus. Including the ability to Sneak Attack Cthulhu with a boat, interestingly enough. (That wasn't a design goal, just a happy accident.)
I was kind of surprised, since there were jokes on social media about "I wonder how long until somebody makes a Zoomer class". I searched multiple parts of the forums for the word "zoomer" and got nothing. I'm a little sad.
But I'm also a little happy, because maybe that means there's room for the one I'm making. Yep, that's right, I'm creating a Zoomer! This is a 5E rogue archetype, with a focus on mobility and vehicles (alongside the core rogue abilities of sneak attacks and lock-picking).
It will be available soon-ish on the DM's Guild, and in the meantime, I've posted the alpha version HERE. Enjoy!
For the dream not to end.
See, I just quit my soulless corporate job so I can work on game design full-time. In about a year, my money runs out. So I've got to reach a point of bringing in a livable income between now and then, or else I have to abandon my dream and go back to life-squelching drudgery to survive.
So what I want next Christmas is for that not to happen.
Didn't know if I should reply over here or via PM... So I decided on doing it here so that the thread gets an extra bump!
As I understand, the systems wants to go the exact opposite of Pathfinder and be rules-light, open-ended and with little focus on combat. It succeeds at all of those
... Perhaps a little too much.
And I read on, eager to hear the details. :D
In general it seems like a fun system to try. I particularly like the "world generation system" presented in the "Destinations" and "The In-Between" chapters.
Interestingly, in the playtest sessions I've run, this has been the least popular aspect, with responses ranging from tepid to "I wish this had a plot". I'm currently planning to write an introductory adventure that would be published in the core book, and would perhaps bump this system to the back of the book as sort of an "If you don't want to buy or create more adventures at least you can still play" kind of thing.
Character "power up" comes in small doses, but happens quite often, which is... Different.
"Quite often"? Based on the rate of Growth Point acquisition I've seen (about 4-7 per session, typically depending on how well fleshed out the character is), you're looking at your first improvement after 2-3 sessions, and getting slower after that. Maybe I'm still used to PFS, where every third session is a level? Is "home Pathfinder" a lot slower than that?
I don't know if I enjoy it more or less than having it happen more rarely but be more impactful.
Well, you know, taste is taste. :)
I think I have a shortcoming of presentation in this document, due to it being condensed for playtesting. In the final product, there would of course be examples, sample character(s), and more fleshed-out guidance. So I'm already on this one, but good catch nonetheless.
I fear some character will still one-up each other simply because one of the players thought of a more abrasive term for one of their skills... e.g.: Player goes with "tracking" and the other goes with "wilderness survival". It might inadvertently turn the game into a grammar arms race. I know it isn't meant to be a competitive game, but then again... Most RPGs aren't, and it still happens in many of them.
I had a feeling a lot of D&D/PF veterans would fear this, but have you actually tried it in play? So far, this isn't how it actually goes down at all.
For example, in my last playtest group, we had one character with skills like "Hit it with my fists" and "Make a friend", while another had a spell called "Chronomancy" which he said he wanted to use to pause or rewind time. You might expect the latter player to break the game, but in practice, all he did was give us procedural headaches from trying to figure out causality paradoxes and in the end felt a little underwhelmed in his actual contributions.
Or to use your own example of "tracking" versus "wilderness survival", the latter isn't actually a strict upgrade of the former. They certainly intersect/overlap, but just as the latter includes non-tracking applications in the wilderness, so too does the former include non-wilderness applications for tracking (like finding the urchin who swiped your coin purse in the marketplace). Furthermore, if you really do have two characters who want to do the same thing (unlikely, but let's go with it), then that's a perfect setup for a relationship (rivals? mentor/protege?) that can lead to more consistent growth for both characters, so both players get something out of it.
In short, I have yet to see any gameplay evidence that the arms-race would be a thing in this game (though I'm watching closely, so if you play it and it truly comes up, please send me the details).
Plus, again, there will be examples in the final product. :)
Speaking of combat... Well... That too went waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too far. You went out of your way to make the game about not-combat, and I can appreciate that. But in an adventure game, combat is likely to happen at least occasionally... But the game fails to deliver not just a combat system, but any conflict resolution system..
It's true that there are no separate mechanics used exclusively for combat, but that's because you're supposed to use the same resolution system you use for everything else you try to do. Was there something I wrote that gave you the impression you couldn't use the existing skill system for combat?
If I'm attack by a tiger, how do I know if it catches me?
You decide what you want to do about it, then roll the most appropriate dice to see if you succeed. For example, one of my groups was attacked by mountain lions. When one of the mountain lions pounced toward a PC, that player said "I jump out of the way" and rolled Agility + Improvise. Rolling high, he succeeded, and was not mauled. Then, he wanted to shoot it with an arrow, so he rolled Agility + Archery. He again rolled high, and therefore put an arrow into the mountain lion.
The mechanics are there for resolving uncertain activities; having those activities be combat does not necessitate a separate set of mechanics. Evading a bite, evading a falling boulder; why can't they be resolved the same way? How did your difficulties manifest in play?
How do I know if my arrow hits the bunny I'm hunting for dinner?
How do I know how serious is the wound it causes?
What would reasonably happen if the action you attempted were to succeed? If the action was "shoot the bunny", then the obvious result of success is "dead bunny". If instead it's "shoot the dragon", then the result is probably more like "pissed dragon".
It's like the rules-set put so much emphasis on avoiding restrictions, specially for combat, that it forgot it is a rules-set.
There is definitely a sliding scale of how complex, codified, and granular an RPG is. Pathfinder and D&D are very much toward one end of the spectrum and this is past the middle toward the other end, so I can understand it being a bit of a shock. I had a very similar shock when I first played a game this far toward the "open" end of the spectrum.
Can I ask whether this is your first time playing something this "open"? That might make it easier to understand how much of your reaction is simply culture shock.
Still, the system has potential. And I'd love to see future versions of it.
PS: Sorry it took me so long to reply. I haven't had much free time lately.
No worries; I know lots of folks are busy at the beginning of the year.
Thanks for taking the time to give feedback!
DungeonmasterCal, your story really put a smile on my face (in a bittersweet sort of way). I'm happy for you, buddy. :)
As for me, 2017 was one doozie of a year, but I'll try to keep this gaming-related.
I got to try some RPGs I hadn't played before, like Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Mutant: Year Zero, and My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria. (I only now realize that every new RPG I played last year had a two-part title; weird.)
2017 also included the pleasure of helping a good friend of mine introduce his wife to roleplaying for the first time. He'd always wanted to share the hobby with her, but she was put off by both the rules load and the tendency toward solving problems with violence that's so present in many RPGs. But when I offered Tails of Equestria, a game that explicitly cautions you against violence and is made to be approachable even for children, the three of us plus my own wife had a nice little three-hour "double date" of roleplaying that everybody really enjoyed.
Perhaps most significantly, I finally got the kick I needed to really shift into high gear in designing my own game (currently in playtesting; click HERE for more info!) and have made leagues of progress in the last few months. It's familiar fantasy roleplaying but in a way that solves huge numbers of the most common complaints you see here on the boards. Even in its rough, unfinished state I'm super proud of it. :D